Best Waterproof Tent: Stay Dry in Heavy Rain & Bad Weather

By: Ashley Vitiello | Last Updated on December 22, 2023
Discover the best waterproof tent for camping in any weather. Our guide considers key factors to help you pick the right tent for your next adventure.

The Mountain Ultra Tent by Teton Sports is our favorite waterproof tent because of its extremely affordable price tag, full coverage rainfly that keeps out rain and moisture, and its incredible lifetime warranty.

We understand that this may not be everyone’s top pick, so we’ve also assembled other favorite options below, that way you can pick the right waterproof tent that best fits your needs.

best waterproof camping tent

Whether you’re an enthusiastic backpacker, a family that loves camping, or someone simply seeking a reliable shelter from the elements, having a tent that keeps you dry during your outdoor adventures is crucial.

We’ve curated a list of top-performing tents that excel in waterproofing and overall quality, including options for different group sizes and types of camping. We’ve put in the time researching and testing these tents to ensure you stay dry and comfortable, regardless of what Mother Nature throws at you.

Our #1 Recommendation: Mountain Ultra Tent by Teton Sports

Affordability: 5/5
Quality: 5/5
Features: 4.8/5

This Mountain Ultra by Teton Sports is one of the best options when it comes to a waterproof tent. It’s extremely waterproof, has the most affordable price tag on this list, and is covered by a lifetime warranty.

Full Review

Best Ultralight Backpacking: The Hornet OSMO Ultralight 1P by NEMO

Affordability: 4.5/5
Quality: 5/5
Features: 5/5

Not only is the Hornet OSMO Ultralight 1P by NEMO very waterproof, but it is also more affordable, more spacious, and has a smaller packed size than most popular competitors.

Full Review

Best for Families: The Wawona 8 by The North Face

Affordability: 4.4/5
Quality: 5/5
Features: 5/5

The Wawona 8 by The North Face is the best waterproof camping tent for families because of its overall size, quality, and robust rainfly. Plus, its spacious interior has a height of 6.5ft, making it one of the tallest ones on our list.

Full Review

9 Best Waterproof Tents

Here are our top picks for the best waterproof tent:

  • Editor’s Choice – Mountain Ultra by Teton Sports
  • Best Waterproof Ultralight Tent – Hornet OSMO Ultralight by NEMO
  • Best Waterproof Family Tent – Wawona 8 by The North Face
  • Best Waterproof 2 Person Tent – Mineral King 2 by Mountain Hardwear
  • Best Waterproof 4 Person Tent – Alpha Breeze by Snow Peak
  • Best Waterproof 6 Person Tent – Habitude 6 by MSR
  • Quickest Setup – T4 Hub by Gazelle
  • Best Waterproof Canvas Tent – Flex-Bow Deluxe 10×10 by Kodiak
  • OK, But Not As Good As The Others – Evanston by Coleman

Editor’s Choice – Mountain Ultra Tent by Teton Sports

best budget waterproof tent

The Mountain Ultra 4-Person Tent by Teton Sports is our Editor’s Choice for several reasons: 1) it’s the most affordable waterproof tent on this list, 2) the full coverage rainfly works hard to keep out heavy rain and moisture, and 3) it comes with a lifetime warranty.

Our favorite part about this tent is the extremely affordable price tag, which sits at less than $200. For a tent with this amount of high quality materials and waterproofing, that price is easily the best value for your money of all the best waterproof tents on this list.

One of the first things we look for in a waterproof tent is a full coverage rainfly. It will out-perform a 1/4 coverage, 1/2 coverage, or 3/4 coverage rainfly any day, so it’s one of the best qualities in a tent that’s truly waterproof.

As you can see in the picture above, this tent does have the large rainfly, so you know it’s ready for all kinds of adverse weather. Under that rainfly is tons of high quality mesh, which makes it a great option for those warmer, dry nights as well.

Some other favorite features are the hassle-free, quick and easy setup, double doors with full vestibules for gear storage, vents in the rainfly for air circulation, and the three color options so you can pick your favorite look.

All these great features are covered by a lifetime warranty, so you’re protected in case there’s any defects.

Our only complaint about this tent isn’t really a true downside, but we would love to see this tent available in larger capacity options. Even though it’s considered a 4-person tent, it can really only comfortably sleep 2-3 people, so we would love to see some larger, more family friendly sizes come available.

Specifications:

  • Capacity: 4
  • Other Sizes Available: 1-person, 2-person, 3-person
  • Waterhead Rating: 3000mm
  • Dimensions: 95″ x 80″ (7ft.11in. x 6ft.6in.)
  • Square Feet: 53 sq.ft.
  • Weight: 10.1 lbs.
  • Max Height: 58″ (4ft.10in.)
  • Waterproof Fabric: 150D shell and floor, 66D ripstop rainfly
  • Poles: Aluminum
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Pros

  • Most affordable tent on this list
  • Full rainfly keeps out heavy rain
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Best waterproof tent on this list

Cons

  • Only smaller capacities available

Best Waterproof Ultralight Backpacking Tent – Hornet OSMO Ultralight 1P Tent by NEMO

best waterproof backpacking tent

The Hornet OSMO Ultralight 1P Tent by NEMO is one of the highest rated tents online and it’s the best option if you’re looking for a waterproof ultralight backpacking tent. At less than 2.5 pounds, it’s super light, has a full rainfly that keeps out water, and is protected by a lifetime warranty.

Normally backpacking tents offer about 15-18 square feet per person, but this 1-person tent has 22.3 square feet of interior space. This makes it actually quite large for a 1 person tent, but the weight is still so light that it stays in the ultralight category. You’ll find that you’re more comfortable with just a little bit more room to spread out.

Let’s talk about waterproofing. The rainfly immediately stands out and its 1200mm waterhead rating makes it waterproof. The floor fabric is a little higher at 1500mm, which helps keep water from seeping in from below.

It’s pretty common to see a full cover rainfly in smaller backpacking tents, but what stands out about this model is the super high customer reviews. It consistently gets 5 star ratings, making it stand out above other popular ultralight tents like the Hubba Hubba and Copper Spur. As a bonus, the price tag is significally lower than these competitors, and it’s also more lightweight, includes more square feet, and features a smaller packed size than they do.

Some other cool standout features include, but aren’t limited to: the tent fabric is made from 100% recycled yarns that don’t have added flame-retardant chemicals, it includes a stuff sack that compresses the tent down to a super compact size, and volumizing guyouts keep your sleeping bag from touching the sides of the tent.

Specifications:

  • Capacity: 1
  • Other Sizes Available: 2-person, 3-person
  • Waterhead Rating: 1200mm rainfly, 1500mm floor
  • Dimensions: 87″ x 43/31″
  • Square Feet: 22.3 sq.ft.
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 4 oz.
  • Max Height: 39″ (3.25 ft.)
  • Fabric: 15D ripstop
  • Poles: Aluminum
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Pros

  • Outperforms other popular ultralight tents
  • Extremely highly rated
  • Spacious inner tent has more room than normal
  • Lower price tag for an ultralight tent
  • Includes compression stuff sack

Cons

  • Users have mentioned that the guylines seem short

Best Waterproof Tent for Families – Wawona 8 by The North Face

best waterproof family tent

The Wawona series by The North Face are some of our favorite tents of all time, and their Wawona 8 is the best waterproof option for families who need more space. We also love the oversized vestibule, three access doors, and the included lifetime warranty.

Once you start getting into larger, family-sized tents, a lot of manufacturers start to cut corners in order to keep the price lower. One of the first things to go is usually the waterproofing, but that’s not the case with the Wawona 8.

The fabrics on this tent are all waterproof, with a 1200mm hydrostatic head rating that keeps out moisture from all points. The rainfly is full coverage in the front so you can have the oversized vestibule for gear storage, but the rainfly on the sides and back sits higher up so that you can still access some mesh areas for airflow.

This means it perfectly balances coverage and ventilation, so you can be comfortable in a wide variety of weather conditions and temperatures. Plus, the pre-attached guylines make it easy to add some stability when the wind picks up.

So what are some features that makes this tent great for families? Besides the roomy interior, it also has a removable divider to create two separate rooms and three access doors so you can get in and out without having to crawl over gear or people.

This tent is really high quality, well-designed, and built to last, which brings us to its main downside: the price. It’s one of the most expensive options on this list, but its size and quality make it worth the cost. To see more family tents, check out the best large tents for families.

Specifications:

  • Capacity: 8
  • Other Sizes Available: 4-person, 6-person
  • Waterhead Rating: 1200mm
  • Dimensions: 168″ x 96″ (14ft x 8ft)
  • Square Feet: 112 sq.ft.
  • Weight: 24 lbs. 3 oz.
  • Max Height: 78″ (6.5 ft.)
  • Fabric: 75D canopy and rainfly, 150D floor
  • Poles: DAC MX Aluminum
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Pros

  • Great for families and larger groups
  • Rainfly balances coverage and air flow
  • Room divider creates two separate rooms
  • Three access doors and oversized vestibule make for easy access
  • Quality tent fabric and aluminum poles are built to last

Cons

  • All these great features in a larger tent means it also has a larger price tag, but it’s worth the quality!

Best Waterproof 2 Person Tent – Mineral King by Mountain Hardwear

The Mineral King 2P Tent by Mountain Hardwear is a really versatile tent that can be used for car camping or backpacking. We were impressed by its high quality materials and dark mesh for stargazing, as well as its 2000mm waterproof rainfly that’s ready for all kinds of adverse weather.

A significant part of this tent’s allure lies in its high waterhead rating. This guarantees it can withstand heavy rain, keeping you dry and comfortable even during significant downpours. You no longer have to dread an unforeseen rainstorm during your camping trip because the Mineral King 2 is designed to keep you dry when the weather turns.

When the rainfly is attached but the weather is nice, you can roll the rain fly back and secure it halfway. This provides shade during the day and lets you stargaze at night, but then the rainfly easily rolls down and back into place if needed.

But it’s not just about its water-resistant capabilities – this tent truly excels in providing an enjoyable camping experience. The Mineral King 2 comes with a spacious interior and large vestibules that offer ample space for gear storage. This feature ensures that you don’t have to compromise on your comfort while accommodating your gear within your tent.

The main downside of this tent is the weight, which is 6 lbs. (or 5 lbs. 2.7oz. trail weight). It’s a little on the heavier side for backpacking, so it’s better off as a car camping tent that moonlights as a backpacking tent when you need it occasionally.

P.S. – This tent also made our list for best stargazing tent because of all its dark mesh!

Specifications

  • Capacity: 2
  • Other Sizes Available: 3-person
  • Waterhead Rating: 2000mm
  • Dimensions: 88″ x 54″ (7.3ft x 4.5ft)
  • Square Feet: 33 sq.ft.
  • Weight: 6 lbs.
  • Max Height: 43″ (3.5 ft.)
  • Fabric: 40D canopy, 68D floor and rainfly
  • # of Doors: 2
  • Poles: DAC Pressfit aluminum
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Pros

  • Rainfly can roll back to expose mesh during nice weather
  • Can be used for car camping or backpacking
  • Footprint included
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Dark mesh is great for stargazing

Cons

  • A little heavy for a backpacking tent, but that includes the weight of the footprint

Best Waterproof 4 Person Tent – Alpha Breeze By Snow Peak

The Alpha Breeze by Snow Peak seamlessly combines remarkable waterproofing features with high levels of comfort and stability. Not only does it have a high waterproof rating and a full coverage rain fly, but it also boasts awesome features like four entry points, a vestibule that can be converted into an awning, a tall max height, and more.

The full coverage waterproof rainfly boasts a 1800mm hydrostatic head rating, and the superbly designed floor material has a whopping 5,000mm rating. This means all the fabrics on this tent are extremely waterproof, plus the large rainfly protects against sideways heavy rain and strong winds.

One of the biggest stand-out features on this tent is the fact that it has not one or two doors, but four doors. Whether the rainfly is attached or not, you can access this tent from all four sides. There’s one main door with vestibule, a slightly smaller back door, and two small side access doors.

Our second favorite feature is the 73 inch interior height (6ft.1in.), which is enough space for the average camper to stand upright. Due to the dome shape, you can’t stand up in the entire tent, but nonetheless this is a nice feature on a smaller four person tent.

Our only complaint about this tent is the 1 year warranty. With this level of quality and the elevated price tag, we would have liked to see a lifetime warranty instead.

P.S. – this tent is really built to withstand the elements, which is why it made our list for the best tent for high winds.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 4
  • Waterhead Rating: 1800mm fly, 5000mm floor
  • Dimensions: 109.2″ x 102″ (8.1ft x 8.5ft)
  • Square Feet: 68.85 sq.ft.
  • Weight: 24 lbs. 3.2 oz.
  • Max Height: 73″ (6ft. 1in.)
  • # of Doors: 4
  • Fabric: 68D canopy, 75D rainfly, 300D floor
  • Poles: Duralumin
  • Warranty: 1 Year

Pros

  • Four doors for easy entry
  • Extremely waterproof materials, especially the floor
  • Tall max height (6ft.1in.) means you can stand upright inside
  • Front vestibule can be used as an awning
  • Built to withstand wind and severe weather

Cons

  • 1 year warranty is shorter than the others on this list

Best Waterproof 6 Person Tent – Habitude 6 by MSR

The Habitude 6 by MSR is a star performer when it comes to six-person waterproof tents, and it offers stellar waterproof capabilities thanks to its large rainfly and high waterhead rating. In fact, the 10,000mm rating on the floor fabric is the highest number on our list.

You can see in the pictures above that this rainfly extends almost all the way to the ground. This keeps the interior dry even in the harshest of rains, and it also makes for a spacious vestibule that keeps your gear and shoes dry.

Built to withstand the elements, the Habitude 6 features strong, aircraft-grade aluminum poles. This construction ensures the tent’s stability even in strong winds. Furthermore, the color-coded poles, clips, and webbing simplify the setup process, an appreciated feature when setting up camp after an active day outdoors.

Space and storage are other strong points for the Habitude 6. This tent offers an expansive living area that sleeps up to six campers, coupled with plenty of room to stow your gear. The extra space ensures that you can relax and enjoy the camping experience without feeling cramped.

As with many of the high quality waterproof tents on this list, the biggest downside of this tent is the price. It’s another incredibly well-designed tent, which means it’s going to have a higher cost than some other lower quality options.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 6
  • Waterhead Rating: 1500 rainfly, 10,000mm floor
  • Dimensions:120″ x 100″ (10ft. x 8ft.4in.)
  • Square Feet:  83 sq ft
  • Weight: 14 lbs.
  • Max Height:  73″ (6ft.1in.)
  • Fabric: 68D polyester
  • Tent Poles: 7000-series aluminum
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Pros

  • Highest floor waterhead rating on this list
  • Full coverage rainfly for superior protection
  • Color coded corners for easy setup
  • Metal poles withstand wind gusts
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • This high quality tent has a higher price tag

Quickest Setup – T4 Hub by Gazelle

The Gazelle T4 Hub Tent is the leader in the quick setup category, making it our top pick for those looking for both rapid setup and excellent waterproofing. With its unique hub design, the tent can be pitched in just a few minutes, plus it comes equipped with a 2000mm shell and 5000mm floor that’s doesn’t compromise on weather protection.

Not only does this tent have high waterproof ratings, but it also has some of the thickest fabrics on this list. That makes it a little heavier, but the fabrics will last longer and the tent can still be set up easily and quickly.

The Gazelle T4 does not skimp on space, despite its easy and rapid setup design. It can comfortably sleep four people, and its peak height allows most users to stand up straight inside, adding another layer of comfort to the camping experience.

Unique to the Gazelle T4 is its full-panel rainfly. It goes beyond the usual coverage to extend protection from heavy rain and wind from the sides. Despite its encompassing protection, the tent ensures a continuous supply of fresh air thanks to its two D-shaped doors with tight-weave mesh screens and four windows that also provide panoramic views.

Our chief complaint about this tent is the fiberglass poles, which won’t typically last as long as metal ones. That being said, this feature does help keep the price down, so the fiberglass poles will work in most situations.

Overall, it’s an excellent choice for those who want a hassle-free camping experience without sacrificing the assurance of staying dry and protected from the elements.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 4
  • Other Capacities: 3-person, 8-person
  • Waterproof Rating: 2000mm shell, 5000m floor
  • Dimensions: 94″ x 94″ (7ft.10in. x 7ft.10in.)
  • Square Feet: 61 sq.ft.
  • Weight: 30 lbs.
  • Max Height: 78″ (6.5 ft.)
  • Fabric: 210D tent shell, 300D floor
  • Tent Poles: Fiberglass
  • Warranty: 1 Year

Pros

  •  Instant set up is done in only 90 seconds
  • Tall interior height means you can stand upright
  • Mesh doors and windows provide lots of air flow
  • Two large doors for easy access

Cons

  • Fiberglass poles aren’t the best material

Best Waterproof Canvas – Kodiak 10×10 Flex Bow Deluxe

The Flex-Bow Deluxe Tent by Kodiak Canvas takes the crown in the category of waterproof canvas tents, which leverages the natural water resistance and breathability of cotton canvas. It’s a worthy choice for campers who appreciate the unique benefits of canvas but still value an awesome waterproof camping tent that has a quick and straightforward setup.

Canvas is a great tent material, but you won’t see it at the campground very often. That being said, it has remarkable natural qualities that you will love, plus the material can last a lifetime if it’s cared for properly. That means it could be one of the last waterproof camping tents you’ll ever need to buy!

Kodiak uses a silicone-based waterproof layer that imbues the canvas with an additional layer of waterproofing while maintaining its natural breathability, ensuring that you stay dry without feeling stifled inside. This means it’s waterproof right out of the box, and you don’t have to worry about condensation build up, even in colder weather.

Despite being made of heavy-duty material, the Flex Bow boasts a setup time that’s comparable to many lighter nylon tents. This is thanks to its Flex-Bow frame, which is both robust and easy to erect. This frame is constructed with sturdy 1-inch steel tubing and rods, so it offers impressive structural integrity and can hold up against strong winds and snow loads

The Flex-Bow tent also features a large awning that provides shade and a covered entry, keeping the interior of the tent dry when entering or exiting during a rain shower. Furthermore, the two large D-shaped doors (front and back) and four large windows with no-see-um mesh provide excellent ventilation and reduce condensation, a common issue in many of the best waterproof tents.

The only downside of this tent is that the durability and weather-resistance that come with canvas tents also brings added weight. At 68 pounds, this is the heaviest tent on this list by a long shot, but we think it’s worth it for the added durability and lifelong qualities of canvas.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 6-person
  • Other Sizes Available: 9’x8′, 10’x14′
  • Waterproof Rating: waterproof canvas
  • Dimensions: 10’x10′
  • Square Feet: 100 sq.ft.
  • Weight: 68 lbs.
  • Max Height: 6’6″
  • Fabric: 8.5-10 oz. Hydra-shield canvas
  • Poles: Galvanized steel
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Pros

  • Canvas is breathable and waterproof
  • Quick setup time using the Flex Bow frame
  • This tent could last a lifetime if you care for it properly
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Two doors and four windows for lots of ventilation

Cons

  • Heaviest tent on this list, but that’s because of the heavy-duty canvas tent fabric

OK, But Not as Good – Coleman Evanston

The Coleman Evanston is a popular option among campers, and with good reason. It offers decent weather protection, ample space, and a relatively easy setup process. The Evanston features the WeatherTec system, Coleman’s patented technology with welded floors and inverted tent seams to keep water out.

However, when it comes to the aspect of waterproofing and overall quality, the other tents on this list have a noticeable edge. The rainfly on the Coleman Evanston does not provide full coverage, which could be a limitation in heavy or persistent heavy rain.

Furthermore, Coleman doesn’t provide a waterproof rating for their tents, which makes us suspicious that it’s not up to par. While being good for mild conditions, this tent fabric might not hold up as well as the more robust materials used in the other tents on this list.

Similarly, while Coleman Evanston’s fiberglass poles are adequate for standard camping conditions, they may not fare as well in high wind situations as the more durable aluminum or steel poles found in our top picks. It’s worth noting that fiberglass poles, while lightweight and economical, are generally not as robust or durable as their metal counterparts.

The Coleman Evanston is a solid tent, making it a decent choice for those new to camping or for occasional use in fair to moderate conditions. However, for those who often camp in diverse or challenging weather conditions, or are looking for a tent with superior waterproofing and durability, the other options in this list are undoubtedly worth the extra investment.

If you normally choose Coleman because of its affordable price tag, perhaps consider the Mountain Ultra by Teton Sports above (our Editor’s Choice). It’s actually a better price but it still offers the more durable qualities we like to see in a waterproof camping tent.

Note: Check out best tents with screen room if you want more options with that awesome bug-free space.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 6-person
  • Other Capacities: 8-person
  • Waterproof Rating: WeatherTec
  • Dimensions: 10′ x 9′
  • Square Feet: 90 sq.ft. (plus 50 sq.ft. screen room)
  • Screen Room: 10′ x 5′
  • Weight: 20 lbs.
  • Max Height: 68″ (5 ft. 8in.)
  • Tent Poles: Fiberglass
  • Warranty: 1 Year

Pros

  • A good waterproof tent for mild weather conditions with a good price tag

Cons

  • Overall quality can’t compete with other waterproof tents on this list, even our more affordable Editor’s Choice

How We Tested, Reviewed, And Rated These Waterproof Tents

We love outdoor gear and recommend equipment that adds value to our outdoor adventure. We know and understand the importance of having gear worth every penny, so we thoroughly research and test every product we recommend. No matter how we procure an item, our goal is to remain as unbiased as possible, and we put it to the test against its competitors to find the best and worst features.

We also understand that each adventurer is different, and our favorite waterproof tent may not be yours. That’s why we rate and review a wide variety of products currently available, so you can see a breakdown of all the tent features and pick what’s best for you and your situation. We don’t recommend anything we wouldn’t personally use, so whether you’re looking for the highest quality, an affordable price, superior weather resistance, a particular brand, or any other desirable feature, there’s sure to be a waterproof tent on our list that’s perfect for you.

Comparison Table

This comparison table takes some of the most important specifications from each waterproof tent on our list and puts it into an easy to read format so you can directly compare each one to its competitors. You can see that we’ve included price, weight, square footage, peak height, materials, and user reviews.

Waterproof Tent ModelBrandCapacityWaterhead RatingBest Use
Mountain UltraTeton Sports4-person3000mmBest All Around
Hornet OSMO UltralightNEMO1-person1200-1500mmBest Waterproof Ultralight Backpacking
Wawona 8The North Face8-person1200mmBest Waterproof Tent for Families
Mineral King 2Mountain Hardwear2-person2000mmBest Waterproof 2 Person
Alpha BreezeSnow Peak4-person1800mm fly, 5000mm floorBest Waterproof 4 Person
Habitude 6MSR6-person1500 rainfly, 10,000mm floorBest Waterproof 6 Person
T4 HubGazelle4-person2000mm shell, 5000m floorQuickest Set up
Flex Bow 10’x10′Kodiak Canvas6-personwaterproof canvasWaterproof Canvas
EvanstonColeman6-personWeather TecOk, But Not as Good
A table comparing the best waterproof tents and their capacity, waterhead rating, and best use.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Waterproof Tent

When shopping for the best waterproof tents, consider these factors and how they relate to your typical camping trip.

Waterhead Rating

When it comes to the best waterproof tents, the Waterhead Rating (aka Hydrostatic Head or Waterproof Rating) is an important measure of waterproofness. This waterproof rating, usually denoted in millimeters (mm), illustrates the amount of water pressure a fabric can withstand before it begins to leak.

In essence, a tent with a waterhead rating of 1200mm can resist a column of water that’s 1200mm tall before the water seeps through. In real-life terms, this means it can handle a moderate rain shower. However, if you’re likely to encounter heavy or persistent rain during your camping adventures, a tent with a higher waterhead rating would be more effective at keeping you dry.

Because the tent floor comes into direct contact with the ground, it can be exposed to moisture just like the rainfly. If the ground is soaked due to rain, dew, or natural groundwater, it can seep through a floor that has a low waterhead rating. That’s why you’ll see in the tents above that the floor also has a high waterproof rating.

All the tents on our list above have a great waterhead rating, which is the first step in an ideal waterproof tent that’s built to withstand the elements.

Full Coverage Rainfly

A rainfly is a separate waterproof cover designed to fit over the roof of your tent. A full-coverage rainfly is one that extends right to the ground, completely covering the tent, including the doors and windows.

This design offers the best protection against the rain, and it’s especially useful in stormy weather when the rain is coming from all directions, or even sideways. This is a crucial feature in a waterproof tent.

All the best waterproof tents on the list above have a full coverage rain fly, with the exception of a couple. The Gazelle T4 has a smaller rainfly, but its robust waterproof rating makes up for it. The Flex Bow doesn’t have a rainfly at all, but that’s because it’s a completely different kind of waterproof tent (canvas). The Coleman Evanston doesn’t have a full coverage rainfly because it’s a lower-quality camping tent that’s not as waterproof as the others above it.

Other Waterproofing Features

Beyond the waterproof rating and a high coverage rainfly, there are other features that enhance a tent’s waterproof properties.

Sealed seams, for example, are crucial in preventing leaks. When tent fabrics are stitched together, those stitch holes can be weak points where water could potentially seep in. Manufacturers seal these seams with waterproof tape or sealant to ensure water stays out.

A bathtub floor design is another important feature. It entails the tent’s floor material curving up the sides of the waterproof tent walls without any seam at ground level, thus eliminating another potential water entry point (read more about bathtub floors here.)

Finally, a footprint or groundsheet is often used underneath the tent. This adds another layer of protection against ground moisture and can also protect the tent floor from abrasion or punctures.

Tent Shape

Dome tents tend to be more stable and wind-resistant, with their curved surfaces being stable and resilient to wind gusts. The wind can flow over and around the tent more easily. This reduced wind resistance makes the waterproof tent less likely to be damaged or toppled over in high winds. Most of the tents on this list are a dome shape, including out Editor’s Choice Teton Sports Ultra Mountain.

Conversely, cabin-style tents, with their more vertical tent walls and flat roofs, provide more headroom and living space, but these flat surfaces and sharp corners can catch the wind, making them more prone to being blown like a sail.

There are two cabin tents on this list, the Gazelle T4 and the Kodiak Flex-Bow. Both of these tents have other features in place to help them resist wind and heavy rain, so they are still viable considerations in the hunt for a waterproof tent. You can shop for more cabin tents here.

However, it’s important to note that not all dome tents and cabin tents are created equal. The quality of materials, construction, and design all play a more significant role in the performance and durability of any tent. For instance, a high-quality cabin tent with robust poles and reinforced seams may still perform admirably in challenging weather conditions.

best budget waterproof tent
The Ultra Mountain by Teton Sports has sloped walls that give it a dome shape and better weather resistance.
The T4 Hub Tent by Gazelle has nearly vertical walls, giving it more headspace but less weather resistance.

Price & Value

Like most outdoor gear, you often get what you pay for with tents. Higher-priced tents typically incorporate more durable materials, superior construction techniques, and advanced waterproofing features.

This doesn’t mean that a budget waterproof tent can’t be reliable, but they might not perform as well or last as long in demanding conditions. If you’re an occasional summer camper, a more affordable tent could serve you well.

However, if you camp frequently or in varied weather conditions, investing in a higher-quality, more expensive tent could provide better protection, more comfort, and greater longevity. The key is to balance your budget with your needs and the expected weather conditions you’ll be camping in.

One of the reasons we selected the Ultra Mountain by Teton Sports for our Editor’s Choice is because of its extremely affordable price tag. It’s easily the best value for your money from this list.

Otherwise, a lot of the tents on this list are quite expensive, although they tend to be well worth the price tag because of their extremely high quality waterproof tent material that is built to last.

Set Up Time

Many modern tents incorporate features to speed up the setup process, such as color-coded poles and attachments, pre-attached poles, or pop-up or inflatable designs. A quick and easy setup can make your camping experience more enjoyable and less stressful.

Most of the tents on this list features a relatively quick setup time, with most of them using color coded corners to help figure it out faster. The quickest setup time goes to the only instant tent on this list, the Gazelle T4, which sets up in only 90 seconds.

If setup time is a huge priority for you, the Gazelle would be a top choice. If you’re willing to spend a little longer but still not a long time, all the others on this list are great options.

Ventilation

Proper ventilation is crucial in a tent, especially one that’s fully sealed and waterproof. When a waterproof tent is fully closed to protect against heavy rain, the moisture from your breath and perspiration can increase the humidity inside the tent. This can lead to condensation, making the inside of the camping tent damp.

Good tents are designed with ventilation options that can be used even when the rain fly is on. This might include mesh panels on the inner tent, vents on the rain fly, or a double-wall construction that promotes air circulation between the inner tent and the rain fly.

This flap on the Mountain Ultra (Editor’s Choice) helps provide some air circulation.

Durability

These tents need to withstand not only the water but also the wind that normally accompanies a good downpour. Features like strong, lightweight poles (often made from aluminum) and high-denier fabric contribute to a tent’s strength and longevity.

Other durability considerations include the quality of the zippers, the strength of the guy lines and stakes, and the resilience of the tent floor. A durable camping tent will not only withstand bad weather but also stand up to regular use, making it a reliable shelter for many camping seasons.

The camping tents on the list above have been specifically selected because they meet these requirements, making them all viable options in your search for the best waterproof tent.

Weight & Packed Size

For backpackers, a lightweight, compact waterproof tent is essential, as you’ll be carrying it on your back for long distances. However, for car campers, or those who don’t have to carry their gear far, a heavier car camping tent with more living space and comfort features can be a better option.

We have two potential backpacking tents on this list, the NEMO Hornet OSMO and the Mountain Hardwear Mineral King. The NEMO is the lightest waterproof tent on this list, which makes sense because it’s supposed to be “ultralight.” It makes for an incredible waterproof backpacking tent.

The Mountain Hardwear tent is a little on the heavier side for backpacking, so we recommend mainly using it for car camping then occasionally taking it backpacking when needed.

Otherwise, the other camping tents on this list aren’t meant to be carried for distances longer than a few feet from your car, so weight isn’t necessarily a concern.

Remember, very lightweight tents may achieve their reduced weight by using thinner, less durable materials or by minimizing features. This means extra weight may not necessarily be a bad thing!

The NEMO Hornet OSMO packs down really small in its included compression sack.

Capacity

When considering camping tent capacity, remember that the stated capacity usually only accounts for sleeping space with sleeping bags laid side by side. If you’re camping with family or a group and want some room for personal belongings and a bit of extra moving space, it’s often a good idea to choose a tent with a capacity of at least two people more than your group size.

However, if you’re backpacking and weight is a major consideration, you might want to stick to the recommended capacity, as larger camping tents will be heavier and bulkier. It’s about finding a balance that suits your camping style and needs.

On our list above, we’ve included options for 1-person, 2-person, 4-person, 6-person, and 8-person capacities, that way you can select the right size for your needs.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a novice, choosing the best waterproof tent can make or break your outdoor adventure. Our top picks for the best waterproof tents provide exceptional protection from the elements, allowing you to enjoy your camping experience, rain or shine.

Our #1 Recommendation: Mountain Ultra by Teton Sports

The Mountain Ultra 4-Person Tent by Teton Sports is our Editor’s Choice for several reasons: 1) it’s the most affordable waterproof tent on this list, 2) the full coverage rain fly works hard to keep out all rain and moisture, and 3) it comes with a lifetime warranty.

Why Trust Know Nothing Nomads?

Since 2017, Know Nothing Nomads has cemented itself as the “approachable experts” in everything camping, hiking, climbing, and adventuring in the Great Outdoors.

With over 60 years of experience in the outdoors, we don’t just talk about outdoor gear or recommend a good hiking trail.

We USE the gear we talk about. We’ve hiked 1000’s of miles. We have camped 1000’s of nights in the wilderness. We have sent hundreds of boulders and projects.

We don’t just know a few things about the outdoors — WE EAT, SLEEP, AND BREATHE IT.

We are not journalists from a magazine telling someone else’s stories from behind a computer. We are the ACTUAL outdoorsmen that those people write about. 

We are not a “gear lab” that runs tests on gear in life-like conditions. We are the seasoned, “trial-by-fire” experts who have taken the gear into the wilderness and USED IT. Read about our gear testing process here

We started Know Nothing Nomads to share our passion and expertise with our readers to inspire, educate, and enable you to explore the outdoors in the way that we have. And you will be more equipped and capable than ever before with the knowledge you gain here guiding you along the way.

And the best part? We are real people that LOVE our readers and this community. If you need anything or have a question about any of the things we have to write about, just reach out. Normally, one of us can respond within 24 hours, sometimes within minutes. THAT is the approachable expert.

You should also know that advertising does not influence our gear reviews in any way, shape, or form, and it never will.

While we always focus our attention on gear that stands out to us—sometimes we discover that things aren’t up to our standards. This is exactly why we will always talk about the downfalls and compromises that we find while we are testing anything (If we find any).

About The Author

Ashley is an adventurous soul who loves all things nature, especially warm sunshine, wildflowers, scenic snacking, and mushrooms. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast who has spent years enjoying time outside doing things like hiking, camping, and rock climbing.
Her goal with Know Nothing Nomads is to make these hobbies easily accessible through knowledgeable content and how-to's based on all the stuff she's learned on her journey. If she isn't writing an article, she's probably in a forest looking at big mountain views and tiny pieces of moss on the side of the trail.

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Hey there!

We are Derek and Ashley of Know Nothing Nomads. Whether it is hiking, camping, or just generally being outside, we love it. We are so happy that you have found our little blog and hope that you stick around a while. Feel free to contact us with any questions or get in touch with us on social media!

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